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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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J. ALLEN BARRETT, for several years health officer of Norristown, and more recently an employee of the United States Mint in Philadelphia, is the son of Jesse and Catharine (Pennypacker) Barrett. He was born in Norristown May 24, 1856.

The Barretts are of German origin, although the family have been long domiciled in Montgomery county, having originally settled in the vicinity of Swamp. Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Barrett had three children, Mrs. Walter S. Hutchison, of West Main street, Norristown, and two who died young. Jesse Earrett died in January, 1900, and his widow died September 8, 1904. The Pennypackers are old settlers in that section of the state. Mrs. Jesse Barrett was a descendant of Heinrich Pannebacker, who came from Germany early in the eighteenth century. Mrs. Barrett was the daughter of James Pennypacker. Jesse Barrett (father) had four brothers-Reinhard, Samuel, Charles and William, of whom all are deceased except the first named, who is engaged in the grocery business in Philadelphia.

J. Allen Barrett was reared in Norristown, attending the public schools, and learned the trade of plumber, leaving school for that purpose when he was about sixteen years of age. He learned his trade with Cowden & Jones, a well known Norristown firm. He completed his trade in 1875, and soon afterwards entered the employ of the Norristown Gas Company, for whom he was superintendent for eleven years. He was next employed at the Norristown Hospital for the Insane in the capacity of plumber for a year, leaving that position to accept the post of health officer for Norristown, which he held for three years. He is now employed in the coining department of the United States Mint in Philadelphia. In politics Mr. Barrett has always been an active Republican, working with energy, and enthusiasm for party success. In religious faith he is a Presbyterian, becoming a member of the Central Presbyterian church in 1869, when he was but thirteen years of age. Since the removal of the Central church to the west end of Norristown, he and his family have united with the First Presbyterian church at DeKalb and Airy streets.

Mr. Barrett married, December 24, 1879, Miss Elizabeth Ball, daughter of Edward and Ann Ball, both of Norristown, Mr. Ball being long deceased, while his widow makes her home with Mr. and Mrs. Barrett. The Balls are of English origin. Mr. and Mrs. Barrett reside at No. 568 East Main street, Norristown. They have three children: Edward, born in October, 1880; Lottie, born in 1884, and Elsie, born in 1887.

Mr. Barrett is a public spirited citizen, and has always favored every measure calculated to promote the progress of the community.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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